Thursday, March 15, 2007

Zhangye, Year Two

At the train station, Andrew and our friend Joy were waiting for me, a pleasant surprise. We joined the other original “daughters” Sarah and Fiona for dinner, a welcome re-introduction to Zhangye and its food. After feeling poor in America, I was happy to the pay the 30 yuan ($3.75) bill for the five of us. We had never been there and the restaurant staff were beside themselves over Andrew’s conversation skills, and after being away for a month it was funny to be back in the midst of all the curiosity. The next day we started up our traditional Friday foreign teacher dinner and caught up with each other. We went to China Fire afterwards, but our friend He Le was not there; sadly, it seems there was some kind of big fight outside of his bar during the Spring Festival, and he had to go to the hospital. Apparently he is out and doing fine, but he hasn’t returned to work yet, and we don’t know the details of what happened.

Gary, Andrew and Stephen went home quite early but me and Danielle stayed longer. This meant that there was a decent row of empty beer bottles at a table with only two people, and several newly arrived customers asked in awe if all the empties belonged to us, so I told them that Americans are very lihai, meaning fierce or excellent at something. Danielle is beloved by Chinese people, especially Chinese men, and when I was in the bathroom a group of friends in their 20’s invited her to their booth. So we stayed longer and drank more than planned, playing Chinese drinking games and teaching them an American one that always goes over well. I bought a mobile phone immediately before leaving Zhangye in January, and several of them asked for my number, and at the end of the night they insisted I share a taxi with them. It’s good to be back.

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